You built your website… now what?

Most companies spend time and money setting up their websites. But then they stop there, never glancing at their analytics. So how do they know if their websites were worth the money? And what marketing strategies are working?

When I build a website I always set up a google analytics account to go with it. It’s free and offers more information than you ever thought you needed – which I think is why most people get overwhelmed and just forget about it. So let me walk you through some basics – and how to make it easy on yourself going forward.

First, some key terms:

  • Users – the individuals visiting your website
  • Sessions – the visit to your website by the user
  • Bounce rate – the % of visits that landed on only one page and didn’t interact with it. They have a visit time of 0 seconds.
  • Channels – categories of where your traffic comes from (e.g., Direct, Social, Email, Referral, Organic Search)
  • Referrals – websites that connect users to your site
  • Source – the origin of your traffic (e.g., search engines, websites)
  • Events – interactions within your site (e.g., clicks, downloads, video plays)
  • Conversions – an activity that’s important to the success of your business (e.g., purchase, newsletter sign up, download)

Now, head to analytics.google.com and poke around. When you feel comfortable go to Customization>Set up a dashboard or report. Then add the information you’re interested in tracking. At the very least you should be tracking your users by location, bounce rate (you want to keep this as low as you can!), channels and referrals. Ideally, you should set up events and conversions/goals so that you know your most valuable sources of traffic. (Google doesn’t track events automatically – you have to add a bit of code to your site to get this information. And your conversions/goals are specified by you!)

Once you have your dashboard or report set up, schedule automatic emails to yourself. You should be looking at your stats at least on a monthly basis. Check what’s working – and what isn’t – and the play with your content. Change things up. If you need help or have questions as you’re digging in, just let me know!

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